Montpelier, Vt.- Governor Jim Douglas announced that Homeland SecuritySecretary Tom Ridge is making a total of $4,963,000 of fiscal year 2003grant funds available for local and state homeland security preparedness inVermont. The money is for domestic preparedness equipment, training andplanning.Governor Douglas said that Vermont’s Homeland Security Unit (HSU) would workwith all response organizations in the state to ensure that grant fundsreach the largest number of participants in the most effective manner.”Over the next 30 days we will be working closely with representatives fromthe U.S. Department of Homeland Security to finalize the details of thisgrant,” Douglas said. “These additional resources will allow our localfirst responders and state public safety units to be more prepared for avariety of public safety scenarios.”The Governor said that the Homeland Security Unit would be reaching out toall first responder departments to notify them of the availability of funds.The allocation is part of nearly $600 million that has been made availablenationwide by the Bush administration for local homeland security efforts.Vermont’s emergency responders will receive nearly $3.5 million forequipment. “Eighty percent of the equipment allocation must be passeddirectly through to local communities. The state’s twenty percent will beused to purchase, among other things, a hazardous material response trailerfor Southern Vermont,” Douglas said.The grant also includes $ 861, 000 for exercises, $261,000 for training and$348,000 for planning.The Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security Unit, will managedistribution of grant funds at the state level.Information will also be posted on the HSU website atwww.vthomelandsecurity.org(link is external) .
WalshyIt may be freezing outside but it’s probably not as cold as some of Paddy Walsh’s side-swipes – especially if you’re a Leeds fan or didn’t bother your Ronaldo voting for Stephanie Roche. FOOTBALL CAREERING INTO PROFESSIONAL AGEA couple of interesting comments from two of the big names of Gaelic Football which might put the lie to that continuing belief that the sport is still truly amateur. As Donegal prepare for tonight’s McKenna Cup game against Fermanagh in Ballybofey – their second outing in the space of four days weather permitting – Dublin forward, Brendan Brogan hit the headlines yesterday by claiming that players often put football before their careers.If they’re choosing careers at all many of them are choosing specific careers that will enable them to play at inter county level, he insisted.“I definitely think that young guys, and even myself at the time, are choosing careers to play football, not just choosing a career. I know some people don’t like the thought of that, in the holistic global view of G.A.A. people, that career paths are being hampered by training,” Brogan pointed out in an interview in ‘The Irish Times’.You’ll recall that former Derry player and current pundit, Joe Brolly, recently also spoke of the “professional practices” creeping into the game and how there is too much pressure being put on modern day players. He also maintained the pressure put on players to “train and compete extensively” was hampering their employment prospects. “Depressing” was the word he used to sum up the current state of affairs where Gaelic football is concerned. Can’t say I disagree with either view particularly when you hear of the extensive training sessions the likes of the Donegal squad must endure. Very few evenings go by without these ‘amateur’ players being dragged to some corner of the county for these training regimes. And what it’s going to be like for the National League and the Championship matches, I’d hate to think. Hopefully their families are more understanding about it but it sure spanks of pure professionalism without the money.Rory Gallagher’s men enjoyed a pretty comfortable win over Queens University on Sunday but will undoubtedly face a sterner test against the manager’s native county. Fermanagh, nobody will need reminding, overcame a Derry side who put Donegal to the sword in the opening fixture.But, of course, the weather may indeed wrap a cold blanket around this fixture.Perhaps, it will be nature’s way of telling the G.A.A. to slow down.STILL A GOAL IN A MILLION Who’d have blamed Stephanie for blanking Messi with that suit?!Well, did YOU vote for her? More than once? Good on you but it was just wasn’t enough, was it? As for you who didn’t bother to cast any vote at all, what were you thinking? She needed all she could get, coming up against a man who hails from a country with a population close to 50 million (the great majority of whom, like you, didn’t take the trouble either quite obviously).And did all the women of the nation – and I’m talking particularly of those of the feministic persuasion who should have seen this as a golden opportunity to put one over us males – click on her name in the online voting system? Yeah, where were you when your country, and more specifically Stephanie Roche, needed you?Close in the end as it was, Roche will reflect when she sits down to think about it of the enormous achievement in getting into the top three of the Puskas Goal of the Year. And finishing well in front of Robin Van Persie to boot.Interviewed in the immediate aftermath of the awards ceremony, you sensed she was nevertheless choking back the tears given how close she had been to claiming the ultimate goalscorer’s prize. She spoke of how in the days leading up to Monday’s ceremony in Zurich, people had been telling her she was going to win it. “That kind of got my hopes up and that’s probably why I’m a little disappointed,” insisted the Dubliner.Indeed last week I was listening to her being interviewed on Marty Morrissey’s afternoon show on R.T.E. radio and he kept assuring that she was a shoe-in – or a boot-in to be more accurate. “You’re going to win,” he repeated more than once.I’ll never listen to him again. Mind you, at least he was encouraging. Not like the odd plonker who used social media (nothing social about it) to convey contrary opinions, ‘William’ on the R.T.E. Facebook page pointing out over the weekend: “I just voted for RVP and not this token nomination.”Token nomination? Did he actually watch Roche’s goal? Or did he believe it was all done by computer effects?The Puskas winner himself, James Rodriguez, was much more approving, even insisting that the Irish woman deserved to win it. Well played, that Columbian.Meanwhile, some branches of the media carried a wonderful image of Roche heading to her seat and the face of Cristiano Ronaldo casting a hugely admiring glance in her direction. On the night he was claiming the Ballon d’Or for the third time, he obviously can still spot a beaut when he sees one. And THAT goal was a beaut…HARRY’S GAMEThat’s the last time we’ll mention Harry Kane’s name – unless he declares for Ireland.It’s long past time for this column to give honourable mention to one of English football’s rising stars. That’s according to a certain Spurs supporter of my acquaintance who believes – rightly as it turns out – that there hasn’t been even a line devoted to the talent and scoring exploits of one Harry Kane.So here it is. Harry Kane’s a good ‘un. Very good, in point of fact. An England international of the future to be sure and one who might actually live up to the billing unlike some others who have been built up by the English media and failed to deliver on the big stage (whatever happened that boy Lineker?).Fresh off the Tottenham academy line, Kane moved on loan to Leyton Orient early in 2011 (not many people know this but I’ve a brother who also went to Orient – just last Saturday, as it happens, for the O’s League 1 clash with Fleetwood Town) – and scored his first senior goal against Sheffield Wednesday (that’s Kane, not my brother).And his debut goal for the Spurs? Well, it came against League of Ireland kingpins Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League in December 2011. And he’s hardly stopped scoring since.Another one at the weekend to add to the growing tally though – sorry to remind you of this, Diarmaid! – the White Hart Laners eventually lost to Crystal Palace.The good news is that Kane qualifies to play for the Republic of Ireland through his Galway born father. Quickly followed by the bad – the unambitious striker wants to turn out for England.So that’s the last honourable mention he’s getting in these parts.GREAT SCOTTYThere’s something about darts that draws you in. Remote control in hand, you’re surfing the channels to see if ‘The Bourne Identity’ is being broadcast once again (you haven’t seen it since the previous evening) and you come upon the BDO World Championships and you stick with it for a couple of minutes and the couple of minutes turns into twenty and before you can say ‘Jeez, he’s carrying a bit of weight’, you’re hooked, lined and sinkered.You’d have to say that the final between Scott ‘Scotty Dog’ Mitchell and Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams (bit of a canine theme running here) was something else. Gripping (unlike my snow shoes). Each of the finalists looking poised to go on and win it only for the other to doggedly come back with a steady series of throws.“More breaks here than in A&E on a Friday night,” the B.B.C.commentator declared (though probably not as many trolleys).And then Mitchell is eyeing up a double sixteen to claim the world crown only for his aim – or his nerves – to let him down, allowing Adams back into the match. And again, ‘Scotty’ is darting towards the title only for ‘Wolfie’ to hit a 180 to claw his way back into contention.In the end the old familiar double top clinches it for Mitchell and the Lakeside Centre goes into overdrive as Adams embraces a tearful Scotty.The crowd goes mad though not as mad as the fancy dress clad spectators at a darts tournament in Australia over the weekend. Chairs and tables and every other piece of available loose furniture thrown about the arena leaving the entire seating area wrecked. Fortunately for everyone, organisers and innocent by-standers, only the players were throwing the darts.Even ‘The Bourne Identity’ never gets that violent.ROCKY AND RODRemember Rocky Graziano? The American boxer who boasted the acclaim of being – according to his Wikipedia pen picture – one of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history. In 1947, he overcame Tony Zale to clinch the world middleweight title and in a career that was, by then, close to failing, fought the even greater Sugar Ray Robinson in his second last bout (Robinson took him after just three rounds).Outside the boxing ring, he lived a controversial existence which landed him in trouble and in jail and his failure to report an alleged bribe attempt saw him suspended from the ring for a period.You may have seen the film of his life, ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’, which was based on his autobiography. I haven’t but I do know that the actor, Rod Taylor, who passed on to the great stage in the sky last week, was turned down for the role of Graziano.And now to the true name-dropping purpose of this reference. Along with young Stephen Maguire of this parish, I met Taylor when he visited Letterkenny on one occasion back in the eighties and a friendlier fellow you couldn’t engage with. Not surprisingly it was Sally Blake who introduced us to him if, I can remember correctly, in the snug surrounds of Boyle’s Pub in the Market Square.And there’s a photograph to prove it but for the life of me I couldn’t locate it in time for inclusion with this piece.Though Taylor, no doubt, probably had it framed on his sitting-room wall.SNOWMENWoke up yesterday morning and when I looked out the window I thought Leeds United were playing in the front garden.Then I realised (a) it was actually snow and (b) even the Elland Road Whites couldn’t slope as low as our front garden though fourth from bottom in the Sky Bet Championship is a pretty good attempt at it.HARRY’S GAME AND STEPH’S STILL A CRACKER – IT’S WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY was last modified: January 13th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal Dailysports columnWalshy on Wednesday